RESULTS Weekly Update February 8, 2022


February 8, 2022

Quote of the Week

“As our hospitals fill again with the unvaccinated, the omicron variant has proven once again that the only way out of COVID-19 is to ensure that everyone has access to vaccines.’’

– RESULTS South Kitsap, WA volunteer Judy Arbogast in a January 27 letter to the editor in the Kitsap Sun

Table of Contents

Ask your representative to sign a letter in support of the Global Fund

RESULTS has a strong history of advocating for the end of AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria – the three diseases tackled by the Global Fund for the past 20 years. It’s incredibly exciting that the U.S. has a huge opportunity to make a difference on COVID-19 and diseases of poverty later this year when it hosts the Seventh Replenishment Conference for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. And an added element is that, by supporting the Global Fund, we’re also supporting efforts in future pandemic preparedness.

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected broader health systems, and the effect has been keenly felt in the area of tuberculosis. Tragically, for the first time in more than a decade, global tuberculosis mortality has increased.

Congress has the opportunity to start backing the Global Fund in advance of the replenishment thanks to a bipartisan House letter led by Representatives Barbara Lee (CA-13) and Michael McCaul (TX-10). This letter calls for bold U.S. leadership during the replenishment and is starting to gain traction in terms of signatures. But we have no time to waste, as the letter is initially slated to close February 11. Will you ask your representative today to sign this bipartisan letter? Our goal is 150 signers, and we’re confident we can reach that target with your terrific advocacy.

TAKE ACTION: Take a look at our blog post which has a tracker indicating those representatives who have already signed on to the bipartisan House Global Fund support letter calling for strong U.S. leadership at this year’s Global Fund replenishment. If your representative has not yet signed, reach out to your foreign policy aide today and ask for your representative to sign using the instructions on the letter itself. Do your outreach today and then follow up by phone or email in a couple of days. If you are in a RESULTS group, you may be coordinating this action through your congressional point person(s) and the direct relationship they have with the foreign policy aide. So to reinforce any actions your group’s congressional point persons are taking, use this online action to write a letter to your representative and share it with others so they can take action with you.

The EITC and CTC are two of our best tools to reduce poverty

As prognosticators try to glean what will happen to the Build Back Better agenda in Congress, this is a good time to pause and remember why extending the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) as part of any deal is so important.

The CTC and EITC are two of our most effective tools are reducing poverty. Consistently year in and year out, when the U.S. Census measures the poverty-reducing impacts of various federal programs, the CTC and EITC rank second only to Social Security in the number of people lifted out of poverty (2020 was an outlier because of federal stimulus payments and enhanced unemployment payments in response to the pandemic). And when it comes to lifting children out of poverty, no program is more effective than the CTC and EITC. However, this impressive track record is overshadowed by what happened with these credits in 2021.

When 2021’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) increased the CTC amount, added a monthly payment option, and made it fully refundable (i.e., all low-income families get the full credit), it’s efficacy skyrocketed. In the six months that CTC payments went out last year, 3-4 million children per month were kept from poverty. And this tax season, families who got the payments will get the second half of their CTC when they file their 2021 taxes, providing another financial boost to families. In addition, low-wage workers not raising children, including millions of 19-24 year olds, will be able to claim a much higher EITC when they file their taxes. In fact, because of ARP, more low-wage workers than ever before will get the EITC this year.

But the gains we make in reducing child and worker poverty from these improvements could be short-lived. The ARP changes only applied to the 2021 tax year. The CTC monthly payments stopped in January and efforts to extend both the CTC and EITC provisions are stalled in Congress. One of the stumbling blocks is the full refundability provision. Some lawmakers want a work requirement reinstated before they will support an extension of the CTC, despite the fact that by doing so, the children and families most in need of support (those with little or no income) will be denied the credit. As poignantly outlined on the February RESULTS National Webinar by Dr. Dorothy Brown, this work requirement argument is rooted in racist rhetoric and policies that have persisted decades, casting government assistance that goes predominantly to people of color as “welfare” and assistance that benefits mostly White Americans, i.e. farm subsidies, as noble and necessary.

The simple fact is this – the CTC and EITC work. They lift more children out of poverty than any other programs and the new EITC will keep millions of low-wage workers above the poverty line this year. As Dr. Brown noted, if there is to be any kind of work requirement, it should be on Congress. To work so that no child goes to bed hungry. To work so that low-wage workers are not taxed into poverty each year. To work so that all Americans, regardless of race or class, can live a life free of poverty.

TAKE ACTION: Today is a National Day of Action for the CTC and EITC. Join advocates around the country in telling your members of Congress to prioritize extending the 2021 CTC and EITC provisions as soon as possible. Make sure they know that they can prevent millions of children and low-wage workers from falling back into poverty. The February 2022 U.S. Poverty Action has talking points for e-mails and letters to the editor (you can also use our online action alerts). If you need help, please contact RESULTS staff for assistance.

Quick News on U.S. and Global Poverty

Here are your “hooks of the week”. To help you in your media advocacy, here are suggested media “hooks” this week to use in letters to the editor:

  • U.S. Poverty: Last week, advocates put 500 teddy bears on the National Mall in the hopes of convincing lawmakers to extend the Child Tax Credit. How can lawmakers so easily ignore the well-being of our children?
  • Global Poverty: For weeks, the Biden Administration has been rallying allies to prevent a Russian invasion of Ukraine. To end some of the deadliest diseases on the planet, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria will need a similar leadership effort from the U.S. this year.

Last days to participate in the RESULTS Housing Policy Survey. RESULTS is soliciting input from volunteers to help shape our housing campaign through a new housing policy survey. Take the survey today – the deadline to respond is this Friday, February 11. Please contact Michael Santos at [email protected] if you have any questions.

New messaging resources on Build Back Better. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights sent a letter to the Senate to underscore the importance of continuing the fully refundable CTC, closing the Medicaid coverage gap, and increasing fair and affordable housing, citing that they critical to the racial equity impact of any final agreement on the Build Back Better agenda. Also, Americans for Tax Fairness has a new talking points for the BBB agenda, which might be helpful for lobby meetings and media.

New rent data highlights need for more action from Congress. The Washington Post recently reported that average rents across the nation rose 14 percent in 2021 and are expected to rise another 10 percent in 2022. Big cities like Austin, New York, and Miami saw dramatic increases as much as 40 percent. ProPublica noted that these are the steepest rent increase in decades, and highlighted how in many of these big cities, majority of rentals for struggling families are owned by private equity-backed firms that are more interested in protecting their bottom lines than the healthy, safety, and stability of the tenants living in those buildings. This again highlights the critical need for Congress to include expanded rental assistance in any new reconciliation package.

Announcements

Join Grassroots Board Town Hall on Thursday. Let your voice be heard! This Thursday, February 10 at 9:00 pm ET, join the Quarterly Call-in with RESULTS Grassroots Board Members for their quarterly town hall. Join via Zoom or by phone at (301) 715-8592, meeting ID 922 0921 5298, passcode 985046.

Join us for our RESULTS Anti-Oppression (AO) Working Group Open Forum. The AO Working Group includes grassroots volunteers and staff working together to advance RESULTS’ anti-oppression values and create opportunities for ongoing learning. Want to learn more? Join our open forum on Wednesday, February 23 at 8:30 pm ET. Register here.

Register for our next Diversity and Including 101 training. Our first “Diversity and Inclusion 101 training took place this past weekend. Our goal is to have all RESULTS volunteers attend this training in 2022. We have multiple offerings over the next few months, the next of which is Thursday, February 24 at 12:00 pm ET. Seating is limited, so please register ASAP. Also, because we have limited spots for each session, if you are unable to attend a session you registered for, please cancel your registration to allow others to participate (see instructions in your confirmation e-mail). Learn more about the workshop and register for upcoming dates on the RESULTS Blog.

Register for the February Policy Forums. As a follow up to our amazing National Webinar speaker Dr. Dorothy Brown, the U.S. Poverty Forum will dive deeper on the 2021 changes to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit as we make the case for permanent tax policy changes that can help close racial poverty gaps. The U.S. Poverty Forum is Thursday, February 17 at 8:00 pm ET (register here). In our Global Poverty Forum, we’ll focus on both background information and our action plan for supporting the Global Fund replenishment later this year. The Global Policy Forum is Thursday, February 24 at 9:00 pm ET (register here).

Register for the “Back to our Roots” Conference. On Saturday, February 26, 12:00-4:00 pm ET, all are welcome to join the “Back to our Roots: Connecting Policy to the BIPOC Community in a Historical Context” Conference. Inspired by the RESULTS BIPOC Caucus, Back to our Roots is a half-day conference where we will have the opportunity to come back to our roots and learn more about the historical context of the issues we advocate on. The day will feature speakers from the African-American, Asian-American, Pacific Islander, and Native communities; panels and workshops that present a deeper understanding of the roots of systemic oppression (and how it grows into the issues of poverty we witness on a domestic and global scale); and most importantly, what needs to be done now to end systemic oppression and build a future where everyone can thrive. Register for this exciting event today.

Don’t forget to complete your Group Roadmaps. If you have not completed your group’s 2022 Roadmap yet, please complete it as soon as possible. The 2022 Group Roadmap resources are available on our Working with Your RESULTS Group page (under “Make your group plans”). Contact Jos Linn if you have questions.

Check out the new RESULTS homepage. We have a new homepage with new graphics and resources making it even easier to find what you want on our website. We’ve also added new accessibility options (blue button in bottom right corner), such as a screen reader, text spacing and size, dyslexia friendly reading, and more!

Upcoming Events

Congressional schedule. The House and Senate are in session this week.

Unless otherwise noted, registration ends one hour prior to the start of all webinars and trainings.

Thursday, February 10: Global Allies Program for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, 8:30 pm ET. Register today.

Thursday, February 10: Quarterly Call-in with Grassroots Board Members, 9:00 pm ET. Join via Zoom or by phone at (301) 715-8592, meeting ID 922 0921 5298, passcode 985046.

Tuesday, February 15:U.S. Poverty Free Agents, 1:00 pm and 9:00 pm ET (new time). If you are interested in joining, contact  Jos Linn for more information.

Wednesday, February 16: Motivational Interviewing  Techniques, 9:00 pm ET. Register today.

Thursday, February 17: U.S. Poverty Monthly Policy Forum, 8:00 pm ET. Register here.

Wednesday, February 23: Anti-Oppression (AO) Working Group Open Forum, 8:30 pm ET. Register here.

Thursday, February 24: Diversity and Inclusion 101: Implicit Bias, Microaggressions and Understanding of Systemic Racism and Oppression, 12:00 pm ET. Register here.

Thursday, February 24: Global Poverty Monthly Policy Forum, 9:00 pm ET (note special date).  Register here.

Saturday, February 26: Back to Our RootsConnecting Policy to the BIPOC Community in a Historical Context, 12:00-4:00 pm ET. Register today. All welcome.

Monday, February 28: Global Poverty Free Agents, 7:00 pm ET. If you are interested in joining, contact Lisa Marchal for more information.

Saturday, March 5: RESULTS National Webinar, 1:00 pm ET. Register today.

Weekend of June 4. RESULTS International Conference. Keynote speaker: Jelani Cobb of The New Yorker. More information soon on this virtual event.

Grassroots Resources

Learn about the RESULTS Experts on Poverty.

To update volunteer info (e.g., subscribe to the Weekly Update or action alerts, add new advocate information, update an existing advocate’s information or preferences), use our Volunteer Information Form.

Find actions and volunteer resources on our Volunteers Hub, including our anti-oppression resources.

Remember to please report your recent advocacy successes in lobby meetings, media, and outreach activities.

To join the RESULTS listserv for more RESULTS conversation, send an email to [email protected]

If you have a question, comment, or suggestion for the RESULTS/REF Board, please e-mail Lindsay Saunders at [email protected]. View Board minutes and Annual Reports.

RESULTS Staff directory and job postings.

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